The IFBRFellowship booth at Copenhagen Convention will be able to provide you with maps and bird lists for various good birding locations in the adjoining areas.
Watch this space for further developments
Visit us at the IFBR fellowship booth at Copenhagen 2006.
Download Report of Malmo-Copenhagen field trip here
Bridging the World by Birding—2006 Convention Field Trip
by Kurt Mansson, field trip leader
Bridging the World by Birding - a suitable theme for the field trip in the 15th of June 2006.
The great clock at the tower nearby showed 07.00 when twenty birdoes mounted the Coach just outside the main railway station in Copenhagen. All looking forward to get a glance of the actual birdlife in this northern region of Europe. The date and time though was a little late for woodland birds. Most of them were occupied with nesting and thus hard to observe, despite in early morning or late afternoon, when they could be heard singing.
So we decided to visit the wetlands in southern Sweden, both the coast and the Lake District. And the main goal was of course to put an X for the Osprey in our notebooks. You see, Sweden and Finland have the main part of the global population of this beautiful globetrotter, which is quite often seen hovering over the lakes where we were going.
But first we had to cross the Bridge over to Sweden and Malmo. From the top we had a marvellous view mostly because of the weather that was just right for a day of birding. Lightly clouded with a lot of sunshine. At sea there were hundreds of “white birds” that is gulls, terns and swans (the mute swan). In the countryside they were replaced by “black birds” - crows (the grey one), jackdaws and rooks. Sometimes on long range it can be difficult to differentiate crow from rook. In Sweden they have a saying that “a single rook is a crow, while crows in a flock often are rooks”. Exceptions are made of course. But nevertheless the saying is often true.
After a short stop at a bakery to buy some buns for breakfast we arrived at Falsterbo, where our professional guide for the day gave us a warm welcome. P G Bentz is a great photographer, especially when it comes to birds (go to www.sturnus.se and you will see why) and he is also a fellow Rotarian. It couldn’t be better. He gave us a summery of the localities of Falsterbo and Skanoer - the two small cities of the peninsula. But more of the Bird station and its work.
Every autumn about 500 million birds migrate across southern Sweden, mainly towards south-west. The migration goes on day and night at different altitudes. Some species spend the winter in Western Europe or in the Mediterranean area. Others cross the vast Sahara desert and winter in the tropics. The birds try to complete their journey as fast, safe and efficient as possible. Migrating birds do not fly over unknown or perilous areas unless they have to. For many birds the Baltic Sea is the first difficult barrier to cross on the southward migration route. Therefore, the birds rather follow the south and west coasts of Sweden until they finally reach Falsterbo. On good days you can see hundreds of thousands of birds migrating at Nabben, the south-western point of the Falsterbo peninsula. Most spectacular is the migration of raptors. Birdwatchers from far and near come to enjoy the show.
P. G. showed us some birds that had been caught for ringing in the morning--mostly warblers of different species. The cameras went crazy when he put a warbler on its back in his open hand. The bird laid there more than a minute as if it was paralyzed before flying into a nearby shrub.
The birding party soon scattered. Some of us were even looking at the ground for plants and could note that some species were familiar, despite the long way from “home”. One of us, past IFBR President Mike Lakin, had the luxury to go by a golf cab. (This part of the peninsula has a famous golf course where there can be a lot of arguing between birdoes and golfers, especially in fall when the migrants are due.) But none of us was jealous of Mike. Along with other Rotarians, he was injured during the Convention in a nasty accident between a trolley and a bus and had some difficulties using his injured leg.
We noted, that some people had stopped just before the most southern part of the peninsula. And soon we were all there, fascinated by a skylark sitting on top of a little grass tuft, singing as loud as he could. Then he lifted, slowly hovering above our heads at a distance of 2-3 meters. Once again the cameras came to use. Mostly you can’t see skylarks, only hear them. Singing constantly for 10-15 minutes 20-30 meters up in the air. How do they do that? They have to breathe! Someone told us that the bird sings with his stomach, like a bagpipe. Extraordinary!
After having spent almost an hour looking at a wide range of wetland species, where many were seen for the first time we gathered around Steve and Susan for a group photo. Unfortunately Mike was missing. He was already on his way back to the bus. We observed roughly 40 species during that hour. (A detailed list follows.)
A quick march to the bus and then north to the other little town - Skanoer, where we were about to still our grousing stomachs. Fresh bread, ham and cheese, juice and coffee/tea and of course vegetables were spread out on the ground. And soon there was no time for birding. That is, just for a couple of minutes. Our guide P-G had just mounted his tube when he called us - two Spotted Redshanks were foraging nearby. This species is among the last coming migrants in spring-summer. They reach their hatching area just in time when some early species from the family Tringa are leaving. So here in southern Sweden we can see both north- and south heading species at the same time.
From the most South-West peninsula of Sweden we were going north-east to another wetlands area. But now a lake (Krankesjoen) with surrounding marshes and meadows. Along the road we were bus-birding accompanied by Lapwings, Kites, Buzzards, Marsh Harriers, Kestrels and Sparrow Hawks. Sorry to say, we didn’t see any Eagle, despite their hatching not far from where we were. And the Osprey showed us little interest so far.
After less than an hour we arrived at one of the observation-towers close to Krankesjoen. Passerines were still singing in the trees and bushes surrounding the tower, but it was the birds in the lake that attracted our attention. Several species of Ducks, Grebe, Grey Goose, Shell duck, Terns and to our delight singing Thrush Nightingale just close to the tower. But, sorry to say, no Osprey. The only raptor seen was a Honey Buzzard. This was a disappointment. Perhaps most for the three Rotarians from Sweden. They are spoiled with daily observations of Osprey on birding tours in the lake district of Southern Sweden.
But all the fun has to come to an end. And so it did. But not quite. We had a delicious lunch served in the fields close to another observation-tower at the Meadows of Vomb. There was no Kingfisher at home that day, but another couple of Spotted Redshank on their way to the North. Common passerines were concerting joyfully, but we hardly heard them. We were discussing different types of beer--a truly sincere subject for birdoes of Rotary.
We were then reminded of the time. Some of us had to catch a flight. A little tired and very satisfied with our day, we took the fastest way back to The Bridge and to Copenhagen, where we split up with a lot of hugs and promises to see each other next year in Salt Lake City.
Birds Observed or Heard, 15 June 2006
from Kurt Mansson, trip leader
85 species is the total amount, when I sum up from listening to many observers. Many species were just notified by hearing their song, connect call or alarm call. These observations I have marked with an H.
The list is alphabetical according to English names. I have mentioned four geographical places for the observations: Falsterbo, Skanör (Breakfast), Inland (Transport), Krankesjön (Birdtower) and Vomb (Lunch).